This is the fourth post a series covering the individual figures of Allen Dodworth's New York Lancers, published in Dancing and its relations to education and social life in 1885, and comparing them side-by-side with the figures of Dodworth's standard Lancers. The earlier posts in the series may be found here, here, and here.
Here is the standard fourth figure of the Lancers as given by Dodworth:Lancers,as danced at the present time: Fourth Figure (8b + 20bx4 or x2)
4b Head couples to the side couples on the right and all make salutations (music extended)
4b Head couples move counter-clockwise to the opposite side couples and all make salutations (music extended)
4b Head couples continue counter-clockwise to their own places and salute each other (music extended)
8b Head couples rights and lefts, across and back
The figure may be repeated three more times. The second iteration is exactly the same as the first, but on the third and fourth iterations the side couples move. Alternately, the figure may repeated only twice, with the heads and sides dancing once each instead of twice.
Dodworth explicitly describes the rights and lefts as being done the same as in the plain quadrille, using right hands to opposites followed by left to partners. The two halves are done as separate figures, with the partners facing in, side-by-side, after every four bars.
This figure has an unusual 20-bar length. The music is generally performed with a held chord every four bars during the first twelve bars of actual dancing in order to allow time for quick salutations similar to those performed in Figure 3.
Dodworth's choreography for the New York Lancers:
New York Lancers: Fourth Figure (8b + 20bx4)
[8b Wait; not included but standard practice]
Head couples turn to the right, side couples turn to the left (=”first diagonal”)
4b Head couples turn on the diagonal to right side couples and all make salutations (music extended)
4b All half right and left on the diagonal and salute partners (music extended; heads and sides have now switched places)
4b Continuing in the same direction around the set (heads counter-clockwise, sides clockwise), half right and left on the diagonal and salute partners (music extended; all are now halfway around)
4b All join hands and forward and back to center
4b All turn partners
The figure is repeated three more times. On the second iteration the couples continue moving in the same direction around the set (heads to the right, or counter-clockwise) and sides to the left and all end back in places. On the third and fourth iterations the couples move in the opposite direction around the set, beginning on the "second diagonal," heads to the left and sides to the right, with two repetitions once more bringing all couples to places.
This is a nifty tweaking of the standard figure, including the same main elements (forward and back and rights and lefts) but sending the dancers on two trips all the way around the set over the course of four times through. Each repetition taking the dancers only halfway around the set rather than back to places is rather unusual, and the half rights and lefts to change places echoes the similar use of the figure to proceed around the set in the first figure of Mrs. Henderson's double quadrille of the 1850s. The final eight-bar sequence is mere choreographic filler, however.
I perform the first movement of the figure (heads "turning to" sides) by stepping forward only slightly for the first four beats (two bars), with the side couples doing the same, just enough that both couples are angled toward (but have not actually approached) each other. I then do a slightly more extended salutation on the last two bars, fading it into the extended chord at the end.
The other salutations, at the end of each half rights and lefts, must be performed much more briskly.
I have once again added the standard eight-bar wait at the beginning of the figure.
The first movement of the figure is described as the head couples "turning to" the side couples, rather than moving forward. This seems a bit excessive for four bars of music, but a true "forward" to the other couple is not a good option, since it brings the dancers too close for the following half rights and lefts.
Figure five of the New York Lancers will be examined in the final post in this series.